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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 21, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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first, strengthen the model by streamlining programs and making it easier for community providers to expand the number of sites available to children. currently, we have to operate two federal programs. one inn the school year and another in the summer even if we're serving the same kids the same meals att at the same sites year round. moving to one will allow us to feed kid and not push paperwork. additionally, lowering the area age threshold from 40% to 50% will expand the sites available and allow them with other federally funded youth programs. second no two communities are the same. we need to maintain strong standards and accountability while providing new program models that local communities can tailor to best meet their circumstances to really make progress in closing the summer gap. dare to care currently runs privately funded programs to fill the gap. our backpack program in rural communities provides children with nutritious meals in the
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weekends and in the summer, but limited resources mean we cannot provide a backpack to every kid who needs one. we also looked into mobile summer feeding programs but our rural communities are so small and far apart the time requirement of having a kid eat a full meal before going to the next location that's required is cost prohibitive. waiving it to allow program models in hard to reach models will address these barriers and significantly expand the number of children we reach. finally, the summer ebt demonstration demonstration projects provide another model. this model families of children receiving free or reduced price school meals are giving an ebt card to purchase food at retail stores in the summer. we would like to see this expanded in communities that have high need and are difficult to reach. i would like to close by saying i'm convinced that child hunger is a solvable problem.
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it's going to require collaboration between government, business and nonprofit stakeholders and we're counting on you to make closing the summer hunger gap a top priority in the child nutrition reauthorization and to give food banks like mine the tools we need to serve every hungry child. i thank you for this opportunity to testify and i'm happy to take questions. >> thank you for the opportunity to be here today. i'm the state director in west virginia and i would like to give you my perspective of the last two reauthorizations and how we implemented them at the state agency level. as you know in april 2007, they released a report nutrition standards for schools. nine months later west virginia adopted the standards and the standards for school new trishz policy. the progressive starts were implemented in the cafeteria and outside the cafeteria. we required schools to have more fresh fruits and vegetables.
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we also implemented the skim and 1% milk provision. our sodium standard was 1100 milligrams of sodium which is a little more stringent than the tier i requirement and we adopted the whole grain rich standard in 2008. we do not permit a lucart sales in west virginia. when children enter the cafeteria, we felt it was the right thing nutritionally for the student and financially for the school district. also, outside the cafeteria, we implemented the competitive sales rules that the iom recommended, for all food sold served served, and distributed to students in the school day. we removed soft drink machines, junk food machines vending machines and school store husband to meet the nutrition standards set fort by the iom. we also addressed healthy fund-raising and required if in-school fund-raising was to occur in the school day on
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school property, that it had to meet the nutrition standards as well. we also instituted the professional standards at the time and had a staffing requirement whereby we required continuing education hours and a certain level of a degree for the food service director at the district level. additionally, we did something different as well. we addressed the food coming in from outside sources. we have done everything we could to insure that the school environment was a safe and healthy learning environment, in the cafeteria and throughout the school environment. yet we were turning a blind eye to what was coming in the back door in the form of parties and things of that nature. so we instituted a provision to address that as well. in 2010, in anticipation of the healthy hunger free kids act, we redirected our focus on the technology and we developed a state-wide automated electronic system whereby every public school in west virginia utilizes
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the same point of sale software. students that come through the public school system in west virginia, a lot of times will just put their finger, index finger on a scanning pad, and it logs and categorizes the meal. that has increases efficiency and accountability in the program and has dispensed with a lot of the overclaiming problems that other school districts were seeing. the direct certification match when you have a state-wide system like this is done at the state agency level. we do the direct certification match as well as the determination for community eligibility at the state agency, and we push the data down to the schools. once the schools figure their claim for reimbursement, that's loaded to the district level and pushed to the state agency level, so the interface goes both ways, from the state agency to the school from the school to the state agency. by doing that we were able to have state-wide eligibility, so
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needy families typically move around throughout the state, what we were able to do is focus on insuring that their meal eligibility benefits were not interrupted. no longer were they required to submit an application a at the new school district. eligibility followed them just like their name or their student id did. this also made it easy for us to monitor the system and improve efficiency and the integrity of the system. the three-year monitoring cycle when we went from a five-year to a three-year was not a burden for us. 50% is completed in our office at the central office at the state agency level in charleston before we even enter the field. we have a great relationship with the foster child folks to get that data electronically direct stoeft is uploaded on a weekly basis. we also piloted the second year community eligibility.
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the first year west virginia was not selected, but we did it anyway. we piloted at the state agency level on something called the west virginia universal free meals pilot project. cep is very alive and thriving in the west virginia area. 54% of all of our public schools are community eligible in west virginia. i'm very proud of that. the key to that working was an act that we brought about called the feed to achieve act, an act that our state legislature passed that realigned school breakfast with the instruxzal day. i'm about to run out of time but the act passed without a fiscal note, and actually built upon the programs we already had in place and insured that all children would receive at least two reimbursable meals a day. thank you, and i'll take questions. >> ms. jones. >> first i want to thank you for inviting me here today to testify. school professionals across kansas are working hard to make
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sure children receive the nutrition required for their health and academic success. hungry children simply cannot learn and thrive. alatha public schools is the second largest school district in kansas. i am responsible for all financial aspects of our nutrition programs. our department has 275 employees serving 24,000 meals per day on a $12.5 million budget. 27% of our students receive free or reduced price meals. at olathe, we're committed to delivering nutritious meals thanks to our universal free [ fst in class program, in five elementary schools we're serving 850 more healthy breakfasts day, resulting in fewer tardies and absentees and better behavior. we also participate in summer feeding, serving 1900 meals per day. expanding access to these critical services has helped our program remain financially sound
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by providing the nutrition that is vital to our students. even before the healthy hunger free kids act, school nutrition professionals had been working hard to improve school menus. in our district, we have offered unlimited fruits and vegetables. served whole grains and meet limits on calories and unhealthy fats by reducing sodium. however, we face many challenges. under the new rules, many students are bringing ging meals from home. our elementary participation has dropped more than 9% and at the secondary schools revenue has dropped as students have stopped purchasing ala carte lunches. the school cafeteria will no longer be a place where all students dpe to eat, but rather a place where poor students go to get their meals. it's heart breaking to see our progress decline. kansas students are leaving the
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program for a variety of reasons. paid lunch equity mandates forced many schools to raise lunch prices. many families do not qualify for meal assistance but are struggling financially. as we continue to raise prices, some will no longer be able to afford to eat with us. and the financial losses may force our program to cut staff so they're impacting the community. smart snack rules have led to huge declines in a la carte sales too, with an estimated loss of $700,000 in revenue. our fresh to go salads had to be taken off the menu because the small amounts of meat cheese, and salad dressing do not meet the sodium and fat requirements. our sub sandwich was a popular item, but to meet the rules, we had to shrink their size, remove the cheese, and switch to whole grain bread. now we sell very few. we have also have opportunities to serve diet soda sugar free
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gum, and coffee. we have chosen not to serve these items but it just shows you how these regulations do not always make sense. despite our best efforts to make meals more appealing, we're struggling with student acceptance. we're particularly challenged to find whole grain enriched tortillas and other items that appeal to our students. every student must now take a fruit or vegetable with their meal, whether their intend to eat it or not. we have seen an increase in good food going to waste in our schools. we promote foot and vegetable samples to encourage consumption, but forcing students to take fruits and vegetables turns a healthy choice into a negative experience. encourage, educate instead of require, is always the best option. olathe schools meal program is self-supporting and operates on a tight budget. after labor and supply costs,
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insurance, utilities, equipment, and other expenses, we're left with just over a dollar to spend on food for each lunch tray. imagine going to the grocery store with just $5 to spend for a family of four including milk fruit, vegetable, and a healthy entree. could you do that every day of the week? my involvement in the school nutrition association of kansas has allowed me to witness the accomplishments and the challenges of colleagues all across kansas and missouri. some districts have overcome challenges under the new rules, particularly those with high free reduced eligibility which provides higher reimbursement and access to grants and programs. however, many district like olathe are struggling with reduced revenue declining participation and the higher cost of preparing meals. we don't have access to many federal grants. that's why it's vital to allow flexibility so all programs can
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be successful for the students and families we serve. there's a lot of negative press about flexibility. to me, this is hurtful. we're only asking for flexibility to insure all school nutrition programs are successful, have faith in the knowledge of all school nutrition professionals that we know what's best for the children. after all, they are our children and grandchildren too. thank you for the opportunity. i will take any questions. >> yes, dr. suthink. >> thank you and good morning. i would like to thank chairman roberts and ranking member stabenow and the members of the community for inviting me today. i'm dr. sandra hassink and i'm press of the american academy of pediatrics a nonprofit professional association of 62,000 primary care pediatricians and subspecials whose mission it is to obtain the optical wellbeing for all
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infants, children adolescents and young adults. it's an honor to be here today speaking about a subject to which i have dedicated my life's work. the foundations of child health are built upon insuring the three basic needs of every child. sound and appropriate nutrition stable responsive and nurturing relationships, and safe and healthy environments and communities. meeting these needs for each child is fundamental to achieving and sustaining optimal health and wellbeing into adulthood for every child. early investments in child health and nutrition are crucial. the time period from pregnancy through early childhood is one of rapid physical cognitive emotional, and social development. and because of this this time period in a child's life can set the stage for a lifetime of good health and success in learning and relationships or it can be a time of toxic stress, which
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physical, mental, and social health and learning are compromised. micronutrients like iron and foilate have demonstrated effects in growing children. these deficiencyies can lead to delayed in attention, motor development, poor short term memory and lower iq scores. one of the most effective investments congress can make in the prenatal to school age period is to support the special supplemental nutritional program for women, infants, and children, or wic, and i think the committee for its strong bipartisan support for wic over the past four decades. the helps give children a healthy start at life by providing nutritional foods and breast feeding support. children who receive wic have improved birth outcomes increased rates of imuniization, better access to health care through a medical home and parpg may help reduce childhood
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obesity. wic has also played an important role in promoting breast feeding. we recommend that the committee seek to find ways to promote breast feeding nishation and continuation even further in the wic program, including by an increase in the authorization for the breast feeding peer counselling program for $180 million. wic is a targeted intervention for mothers and young children with impacts that can be long term, which includes health outcome, and the prosperity of the community. as a pediatrician i have seen first hand the importance of nutrition in child health. when i started my practice in child weight management i was seeing adolescents, when i retired last october, i had a special clinic for children under 5 in obesity, and we were seeing infants. they were showing the effects on blood pressure and measured of
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blood control. we saw obesity related blood disease in 4-year-olds and in children with pre-diabetes at age 6. our children are experiencing an unprecedented nutritional crisis resulting in a double burden of food insecurity and obesity. the connecting factor for both is poverty. the highest rates of obesity are found in people with the lowest incomes. increasing increasingly, the picture of food insecurity in children is that of a child with overweight or obesity consuming a poor quality diet. good nutrition also helps to treat the effects of chronic hunger. wic is just one intervention to address the double burden. families or schools child care communities, andpedetrations play an important role in shaping healthy habits. when you're in the middle of an epidemic, you can't keep doing what you have always done. as pediatricians, parents and policymakers, we have an
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obligation to make sure the food we provide our children isnutritious. good nutrition in childhood stets the stage for lifelong health, and just like we vaccinate to protect against illness, we can also vaccinate against chronic disease by providing pregnant women and children with support. as we celebrate our mothers this weekend, i urge the committee to put mothers and children's needs first, our children's health simply cannot wait. thank you. i'll be happy to take any questions. >> thank you very much. we will proceed with questions. i know the chairman will be returning in just a moment. thank you to each of you for your comments. we very much appreciate it. and dr. hassink, thank you for reminding us what this is all about in terms of children and the health and stake we have in children being healthy and
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having a chance to succeed. mr. goff, i wanted to start with you, because when i think of west virginia, you have all kinds of schools. you have rural you have urban. and yet, your state is 100% compliant with the new meal standards, including smart snacks. looks like you're ahead of the game, anticipating things. i want to congratulate you and the state for that. and i'm wondering how you were able to get, to help your schools in the state to be able to achieve the goals and then secondly, when many schools rely on the a lacarte sales to supplement their budgets and we understand tight budgets for schools, but the change to healthier items doesn't seem to have impacted your schools. how did you help schools be able to achieve and how is it that you're able to do that, including a la carte sales in a way that didn't hurt your
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schools. >> thank you for the kind comments. when we adopted the standards in 2008, right after they were released, and we put together a very comprehensive implementation plan. as far as bringing the schools on board we went through the black eyes like everybody else is going through with the healthy hunger free kids act. but we used quarterly workshops. we created a list where we could communicate with each food service director through the internet with a push of a send button. we issued guidance memos. we met with principals groups. we met with the superintendent groups. we did presentations before boards to get the word out, and let them know just why the standards were changing why we were doing what we were doing and the science behind it. we created a website called smart foods for parents to educate parents of all the changes.
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we had a very comprehensive implementation plan. and we staffed at the state ageation level in preparation for the change as well, as far as grand writers and registered dieticians and our automated system where we have an electronic technology system, point of sale system, that's integrated throughout the entire state. they just need to know one system. our reviewers going into the schools. they have to monitor one system. many of the concerns that mr. lord spoke of we don't experience in west virginia because of the direct certification and community eligibility determine is done at the state agency level. and we notify the schools of that information. our free and reduced application is online. so we have had a lot of the problems that we experienced with the paper application, which is basically become
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obsolete in west virginia. as far as a la carte, which children come into our cafeterias, they get a uniatized meal that is fully reimbursed by the federal government regardless of whether it's free, reduced price, or paid. we felt that's in the child's best interest. we also worked to have salad bars put in place. now, with not offering a la a la carte meals, it makes the point of sale cleaner. that lends itself to increased accountability as far as logging and claiming the meals. we've never had an issue with as far as the revenue goes on a a la carte sales. you get a uniatized meal the full price of the paid meal and the full federal reimbursement so you get both revenue streams in west virginia. a la carte, that was never an
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issue for us. >> well, very impressive what you have done. when you look at the automated point of sale and the state-wide eligibility so that the schools don't have to be focused on that, and it moves with the child. i just think that's really something that we need to look at and how we can save the cost and the paperwork for schools and families and still achieve things. congratulations. mr. riendeau, we have a lot of bipartisan support over the years for our summer meals programs. and we want to continue that. we know we need to strengthen both the congruigate models. i'm concerned we create more flexibility in michigan, we submitted a request for a waiver for the congruigate requirements and that was denied because of the current restrictions. i wonder if you might speak a
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little more about the need for flexibility in terms of the summer and what's happening in terms of communities. whether it's where children meet or what's called grab and go or other kinds of models why this is important. >> sure thank you for that question. in our case, at dare to care we serve urban and rural counties. i think that's where the difference between the two models is most stark. the vast majority of the meals we serve through sfsp are served in jefferson county the home of louisville, an urban county it's a place where kids, there are plenty of sites for kids to gather in the summer, sites with programming and activities that the kids want to be a part of. the kids are there. and it's easy for us to get those meals to those kids, have the kids consume them on site, and allow us to comply with the requirement of that program. in fact, we have our model is based on a 6,000 square foot
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kitchen we invested in to build two years ago that provides over 1,000 hot meals a day now and takes the meals to the sites. the program works very well there. where the need for flexibility comes in is in the rural counties. the other 11 counties are rather rural. many are very rural. and frankly they just don't have the community centers, the facilities for kids to gather. even if they did have those, there's a transportation issue. these kids are spread out. many are living in small communities. they're dispersed across those counties. in the summer, they don't congregate. so what we would like to see is the ability to work on the ground in those communities with government and business leaders in those communities to come up with unique partnerships and innovative programs that are tailored to meet the specific needs of those individual counties. and i think if we could have the flexibility that we're talking
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about here, i'm very confident that we could reach many many more of the kids in need. as i mentioned in my testimony, 90% of the kids in the state of kentucky who are eligible for sfsp don't get it because there's either a no site for them to go to or they can't get there. >> thank you very much. thanks. >> ms. jones. cindy. thank you for your help. in our traversing kansas and enjoying school breakfast and school lunches. if you were provided with some that word again flexibility, what changes would you make? >> i would allow us to go back to the 50% whole grain so we're able to add some of those items back that the kids enjoy, such as whole grain biscuits do not
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have much flavor. i don't know if any of you have tried them. crackers, they taste like saw dust. just some of those simple items, just like our children they love chicken nuggets all kids love chicken nuggets. now with the coating on the chicken nuggets, they no longer like the flavor. just simple little things we could do with that. i would go back to encouraging kids to take fruits and vegetables, which is what we want to do in our district. wecopy hearing about it's just a half a cup. but we have 29,000 students in our district. that's a lot of half a cups. and if two thirds of those kids eat the fruits and vegetables, that's still 10,000 half a cups that we throw away and over a year, that's 1.7 million half a cups. in our district we want the kids to eat their fruits and vegtinals. we have unlimited fruits and
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vegetables. we go into those schools all the time encouraging them giving them the stickers because we want them to try their fruits and vegetables. but because of all of the tight budgets we're having right now, this may be something we have to do away with, with our unlimited fruits and venlitables. i would hate for those students who want to eat their fruits and vegetables to lose that opportunity because other students are forced to take them and throw them in the trash. also i would like to be able to make the decision on whether to raise the prices for our meals. i think a lot of our students are leaving the program because they can no longer afford to pay the meal's price. i was visiting with a little girl the other day and she said her mother now makes her choose two days a week to eat with us because they can no longer afford to pay those costs. so i would like to be able to do that too. >> we have just been joined by the whole grains champion of the
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senate, who has a bill to exempt that standard. and i will give you every opportunity to discuss that, john but at any rate let me also ask you in my travels throughout kansas, there were some schools doing well in implementing the standards and they seemed to be the schools obviously with a lot of resources. in your testimony, you mentioned that some high free and reduced price districts in kansas have also overcome challenges. is there a way to characterize the districts that are having a hard time or does it vary based on the individual community? the reason i'm bringing this up is that i think the distinguished senator from michigan and i tended, you put it to rural and small town
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schools, smaller schools. and goodness knows they have problems with a lot of things. but i'm not sure i'm getting this exactly right. is there a way to characterize the districts that are having a hard time or does it vary based on the individual community and what they are doing how they accept the program, et cetera et cetera? i know there's been a lot of talk about training. i'm trying to get at something. i don't want to call it the attitude of the community or the district or whatever. not much choice in this regard. but help me out here. >> well, what i am seeing districts like my own, we have a lower amount of free and reduced. so a lot of those kids are making that choice to bring their own lunch. where if you're at a district where they have a high free and reduced, those kids pretty much will eat what they are being served.
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i was actually speaking to a director from a larger district and he said that because of the revenue that he is losing with his students he will end up in the red for the first time, and this was around the tenth year of being here. so i think that is a lot of the problem, is those schools that do not have the high free reduced rate don't have the ability to get a lot of grants that are available to those high and on a reduced and free schools. in my district, we have a centralized building. we have two registered dieticians on staff. we have to pay for all of our costs, benefits, we even pay indirect cost to our districts to help pay for the utilities and the custodial staff at the school. little school districts usually have someone within that school so they don't have all the extra costs that large districts have, plus many of them have high free
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and reduced. they not only do not have the expense we have, they're able to bring in more revenue. >> you're getting at the exact reverse of what perhaps some of us may have as a bias. and i truly appreciate that's exactly what i was asking about. i have so many different questions here i would say to my colleagues, but i do want to get to senator donnelly who i think is next. and then we have senator holden. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank all of you for being here. mr. riendeau i know you're based in louisville, but i want everybody to know dare to care serves washington crawford, harrison, floyd, and clark counties in my home state of indiana. we're grateful to you for that. i wanted to talk to you for a second about something i know
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you have heard about. that is the area you serve just outside of it is scott county, which is just to the north of where you serve, and we have had a devastating hiv outbreak there, and drug epidemic there. and the county also has one of the highest food insecurity rates for children in our state. and i was wondering in your mind, what is the best way to reach those kids? to make sure they've had enough to eat to make sure they stay in school and hopefully stay away from drugs as well? >> thank you senator. and yes i live just down the road from scott county, and i want you to know personally i share your pain with what's happening there. it's horrific. you know, i guess i think in my mind, what's happening there sort of points to the larger issue that's before the committee with this whole reauthorization, investing in our kids today can prevent so many issues down the road.
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we heard that, you know, kids who grow up in a food insecure environment are going to have all kinds of issues and as they age up they're going to find themselves with less options for becoming productive self-sufficient members of our community. i'm certainly not an expert on drug addiction or hiv but i would have to guess that there is a very close correlation between the levels of food insecurity that you see in that county and some of the problems that folks are facing with no alternatives to turn to. and you know i think the best way that one of the great ways that we could better serve counties like scott would be going back to the ranking member's question about flexibility, giveing us the flexibility to tailor programs to be able to provide summer food to kids in those rural counties where the current model and the current regulations may not fit so well. >> which ties in a little bit to my next question, which is in
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some of our rural areas you serve and throughout the rest of the state and in the country, there are pack a backpack programs for kids on the weekend and such. i know you helped to work with that also. do you think that as you look at that, we'd be able to reach more food insecure children if those meals in that program were eligible for reimbursement, as i know the funds come from the private sector for that? >> absolutely. that program is in our case, with dare to care and serving our rural counties, that is one of the programs that we do use to reach kids in the rural counties because when kids are congregated at school, it's the one place we can get nutritious food to them to take home for the weekend. kurbt currently, we fund that program entirely with private donations so it's an entirely privately funded program but in my mind, it's a great public-private partnership because we're
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leveraging the private dollars to help address an issue that we currently can't address with federal dollars. so the answer is yes. i think if we could find a way to involve -- find a new revenue source that would allow us to provide more backpacks, that would certainly have a positive impact on our ability to reach those kids. >> thank you. and dr. hassink, one of the areas of concern for me with food insecurity is the general obesity that has occurred in children and the increase in diabetes type ii, as you look at that and we look at that going forward, what more can be done to teach about healthy eating lifestyles and how to prevent things like diabetes ii because they can be so debilitating? >> thank you, and certainly, we as pediatricians are seeing the rise in type ii diabetes in
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younger and younger children, something we never thought we would have to deal with as pediatricians. i think starting very early with early healthy infant new trishz and transition to solid foods and good feeding practices. healthy habits for families at home to start out right is essential. many of the children who have severe problems in adolescence with their health have already by age 5 have had obesity. so early intervention, that means the family education, stronger links with the health care system and food and providing information about food programs providing education and understanding what's available for the families in the communities would help get them off to a good start. in 2007 when we wrote the expert guidelines for obesity, we considered all children at risk for obesity in this country. and we have trained physicianed
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to do preventive counseling for everyone because of this problem. >> thank you very much to the panel. thank you for all your work to try to help our children and our families. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator holden. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate you hoilding this hearing today, and thanks to all of the witnesses. ms. jones, you mentioned in your testimony some of the difficulties in complying with the lower sodium standards and the 100% whole grains requirement. what can we do to help in that regard? what do you think the solution is? >> we just want to make sure that we don't go forward with target two for the sodium because right now, we're able to get by. we're struggling, but we're able to meet those requirements. but if we go on to target two, that would mean we are serving therapeutic sodium levels. there will be no flavor to the kids' food.
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i just received an e-mail from my director letting me know that the student surveys are back from parents, and many of them say that their children are no longer eating with us because there's no taste to their food. that is a big concern, and if we we continue on, i think that will be even a larger concern. >> so last year i included a provision that actually kept the whole grains at 50% rather than having 100% of the whole grain or the grain products having to be whole grain enriched. and now i have introduced legislation with senator king this was bipartisan legislation senator king from maine that would both keep us at the lower sodium level but not go to the next target level and would continue the provision that 50% of the grain products have to be whole grain enriched.
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is that something that you think is workable and that your state would find workable and that you feel other states would find workable? >> absolutely. >> okay. and then touch on for just a minute issues as far as the competitive requirements for the a la carte menu. we want to make sure the school lunches are healthy and the kids are eating them and we also want you to be able to continue with ina la carte and i understand there are issues in terms of what you can provide. >> right now, we would like to be able to serve items in a a la carte that are also in the reimbursable meal. you have look at each item. if it's on a meal you can compare that throughout the week and fit into the requirement. it's much more difficult to get an item to serve on a la carte we would like to do that. if we can serve is on a
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reimbursable meal, we could be able to serve it a la carte. >> mr. goff i'm glad to hear your successes in terms of implementing the program in west virginia. certainly flexibility does not mean a rollback of good nutrition standards. but again, making sure that we have healthy meals and meals that the kids will eat and that our schools are able to make their budgets. could you tell me how many of your schools have applied for an exemption from the 100% whole grain requirement. >> we did the 100%, the whole grain enriched requirement back in 2008. the only thing that's affected our schools, and that was implemented across the board in all schools. and schools aren't having a problem with it. the only thing that has really touched in west virginia as it related to pasta. and that's only because we have some schools that are having trouble getting the product.
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>> right. and that's the point in some cases whether it's pizza or tortillas or potsa apasta, when we talk about whole grain enriched, iter not just the bread. it's all these other products. and some flexibility is helpful, and that's why i have advanced the 50% whole grain enriched. i have a number but you have quite a few schools that have applied for exceptions. wouldn't some flexibility be helpful to them here? >> i can't speak for the schools. i think that when you're looking at granting waivers my fear of that would be that it would give industry a pause to come onboard and make the products more available at a sooner time. we had lots of waiver requests when we were implementing some of our standards as it relates to professional standards or competitive sales.
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i think if you have a good standard that's in the child's best interest, then you hold that standard. i certainly can't speak for a state like kentucky, but our participation in west virginia and our school meals is the highest it's ever been. our breakfast participation is starting to exceed that of lunch. so i think in west virginia and we have cooperative purchasing groups that pool their efforts to get the product, i think we're on the right track there. >> so you don't feel there needs to be any flexibility even though you have schools that have applied for exemptions? >> i don't know the number of those schools. >> 22. >> 22 schools? and we have about 700. so certainly, that's cause for an exemption or a waiver until the product can become available. but it was my understanding that it was more related to pasta. >> and i understand in some cases it relates to pasta or tortillas or some of these other
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products. and that makes sense if they're healthy and the kids will eat them. i'll wrap up here, but the current dietary guideline recommendations allow for some refined grains as well. if we allow it in the dietary guidelines which is for all americans, why wouldn't that some flexibility in that regard make sense for our school kids too? >> i understand. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator stabenow, you had an additional question. >> i do. thank you, i do have -- and thank you again to all of you. i guess i'm trying to put in perspective, you know, i realize we're making changes in the last five years and the behavior is always hard to change in a process of moving in the direction of all of us wanting to be more focused on health and wellness, we know the benefits
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of that. we know sometimes change is hard. i have seen i visited a lot of school districts. some very creative where you take the vegetable and you put green peppers and onion in the tacos and the kids don't even know they're getting it which is great and others where someone says no, government says you have to eat broccoli. there's a very different reaction depending on how things are presented, and we want to be in the creative process of that where we're sneaking it in and kids don't even know beans are a vegetable, but mr. goff, i wanted to ask you about specifically the exemptions for whole grains, and my dear friend, i really mean that, from north dakota, has been very passionate about this. yet, out of thousands of schools across the country we've had only 350 requests for waivers on whole grains. to put that in perspective 350 requests across the country, there are 900 school districts
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in michigan alone. one request in north dakota four requests in kansas. and so i'm wondering have you received very many requests at this point? and again why do you believe your schools wouldn't be asking for the flexibility of the waiver that we put in place at this point? >> well, i couldn't give you the number. we have received some requests. but it's my understanding in talking with the cooperative purchasing groups that comprise our state that the request is for pastas, and it's because the product is not readily available for them to purchase and it has something to do with that particular product has trouble maintaining its consistency. so until more of that type product hits the market, some of our schools were struggling with it. as far as the whole grain enriched requirement, we had
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that in place since 2008. students are very accepting now of what they call the brown bread. so i think it's a good standard. and i think we just need to wait for industry to come up to speed. >> i'm wondering also, there are differences between larger and smaller districts and some that have the community eligibility, as ms. jones is saying larger districts with their smaller number of students that are qualified for free and reduced lunches and so on. again, in west virginia, how do you handle that with a larger district where there's a smaller number of children, sort of the economics of that for schools? because i'm sure that is different. so have you -- how have you handled that in terms of districts where virtually all of the children are qualifying for free and reduced lunch versus a district where it may be less than 50%?
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>> as far as -- >> sort of the economics of funding and so on. because that seems to be one of the concerns. >> the community eligibility. >> large districts are losing money because there are fewer children being reimbursed on free and reduced lunch and other children aren't buying lunch. >> that's a great question. we anticipated those types of things before we implemented community eligibility. like i said the first year that they piloted that, we weren't selected, so we did our own version called west virginia universal free meals. we knew that if we just, if we just selected nine districts or however many we did select and said that you now can have breakfast and lunch at no charge, if we didn't fundamentally change something, it was going to create a problem with their budgets. so we worked in conjunction with our state legislature and passed senate bill 663 called the west
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virginia feed to achieve act. what that did one of the provisions of that act is it realigned breakfast with the instructional day. we were offering breakfast at the worst possible time, at the start-up of school when the bell is ringing the buses are arriving late kids want to talk to their friends. we have a state law that mandates that school can no longer compete with the start-up of school. it has to be offered either breakfast in the classroom, breakfast after first period or breakfast after the bell or some combination of that. and every school at every grade level, and what it's done, that in conjunction with community eligibility, our breakfast participation is starting to comed that of lunch. financially speaking, that's very good for the programs because the margin of profit if you look at the federal reimbursement versus the cost to produce a breakfast the margin of profit is higher on a breakfast than that of a lunch,
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plus, it's the most important meal of the day. now we have the naysayers in the beginning, for example, the teachers that didn't want the food in the classrooms, will now go to bat for the program and are actually the program because they can see such a huge difference in test scores student attentiveness, reduced tardies, fewer trips to the school nurse pure behavioral problems, it's really changed the way we are educating kids in west virginia. we have one school district that district wide mason county, their breakfast participation last year around almost 90%. 90% of the children if that school had a breakfast on a daily basis and that's how we've done it through the economies of scale, the cost to produce one more breakfast, the cost is not that significant, but the federal revenue coming in on that a one more breakfast is
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substantial. >> thank you very much. i know my time is up mr. chairman. so thank you. >> excuse me. senator bolton. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i apologize to you and the ranking member for running back and forth today. this is such an important hearing and such an important topic for arkansas and the rest of the done re. i'm on another subcommittee though, that also is very important, it has to do with violent crime, gangs and things like that which again all of lease things go together. so like i say, i apologize for running back and forth. again, i know that these things are being discussed already and things, but it's such an important thing for arkansas our summer meal participation is increased in recent years and is very, very important, however, we struggle to reach children approximate in rural areas. can you talk a little bit about the challenge that you've experienced with the meals program and then also based on your experience can you give us
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some concrete recommendations as to what we can do to overcome some of those challenges? >> sure. you know as i said before, we have dare to care serves both urban and rural counties and probably much like your rural counties, particularly in indiana, you know, the distance between the communities is so great and the communities are so small that it's just very very difficult to find locations where kids can go and congregate unlike our urban counties, there aren't robust boys and girls clubs with all day programming and lots of things that these kids want to get to. so the challenge is how do we find a way to get these kids access to summer food based on the realities of the county in which they live? you know, so we've looked at several different options, you
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know, one of the -- one of the thoughts we have is we've looked at -- we actually have have a bus, we have a school bus now, and we're actually looking at the possibility of preparing meals and -- in our community kitchen, loading those in cam bros and putting them on the bus and taking them out to the rural counties and simply driving to the hollows where you will have a community of 20 families and dropping the meals off. letting the kids consume them as the bus goes away and goes to the neck community. the challenge with that model and you the current rules is unless the kids -- unless we stop and the kids eat the meal on the bus and we count the number of children we can't be reimbursed. so the sustainability of that model is doubtful and that's kind of the challenge that we're facing, which is why you know, one of the things we'd like the committee to consider is allowing us to look at more flexible models in those counties like i'm sure in arkansas would probably benefit
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deeply from that. let us look at those and make those eligible for reimbursement as well. >> mr. goff, you mentioned that you started your program in 2009 and i think that's right. okay. and i think that our states need the flexibility to do as they feel like is best. can you tell us based on 2009 to now what are your obesity levels? have they gone up or have they flattened out or do they continue to go up? do you have if i knowledge about that? >> in west virginia in. >> yes, sir. >> we adopted those standards in 2008 and our -- >> what's happened as a result? >> i think our obesity rate has leveled off. i don't have the data. but i do know that our school environments are healthier. in west virginia hunger and obesity live side-by-side. if in trying to put the finger on the culprit we have done
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everything in our power to provide safe and healthy learning environments for our kids. >> and i agree with that. the only reason i mention that is that had this really does go together with a whole host of other things. and so we feed to add are dress this, you know, and like i say, you know i don't disagree that you all are doing a great job in the sense of doing what you feel like is best for your kids but it is -- i think one of the problems we run into that, you know, we feel like if we just do this or that in this particular area we're going to solve our problem and the reality is with pe and you know, lots of other things, after school activities, all of that goes together and if we don't do it all then we're going to be in trouble. ms. jones, you mentioned in your testimony the importance of flexibility. can you talk to us a little bit about specifically the kind of flexibility that you'd like or maybe am this some areas or two?
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>> sure. just like when we talk about our a la carte the fact that we had to take a healthy -- a healthy choice off like a sub sandwich with turkey and cheese that doesn't make sense to me. that is a healthy item. we would like to have that flexibility to put those type of items back on our a la carte items. having the decision to be able to raise the price of a meal or not. i mean that should be determined by each district, but what they feel their enrollment would be able to pay for. we want to be able to keep those kids into those cafeterias because we can't serve them nutritious meals if we dent have them eating with us. those are the types type of things we're wanting to look at. like i say, with a fruit and vegetable we really want to encourage our kids that's something we have always thought was very important but we to not want to lose our unlimited
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fruits and vegetables because we can't afford to do that anymore. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> dr. hassing, i apologize that we have not paid more attention to you. especially with all of the work that you -- >> i would have if i had more time. >> thank you. >> but you made -- it's a typical situation where a chairman of committee is answering the question that i would have asked you. you made some excellent points with regards to a lack of specific nutrients at a specific time and the detrimental effect that that has had on attention and development, short-term memory, iq scores, everything that everybody strives for but if they miss the boat they miss the boat.
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i'm not asking you to expound upon that research i think it is self-evident, but i want to let you know how much we appreciate your coming and your statement. i am now moving to the conclusion of our hearing this afternoon. yes, it is this afternoon. thank you to each of our witnesses and to the first panel as well for taking your time your very valuable time, to share your views that are related to the child nutrition programs. these testimonies that have been provided today are very valuable for the committee to hear firsthand and to keep on record. your thoughts and insights will be especially helpful as we undergo the reauthorization process and to my fellow members i would ask that any additional questions that they may have for the record be submitted to the committee five business days
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from today or 5:00 p.m. next thursday, may 14th. the committee now stands adjourned. with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and a the senate on c-span 2 here on c-span 3 we employment at that coverage by showing you the post relevant congressional hearings and public affairs events. then on weekends c-span 3 is the home to american history tv with programs that tell our nation's story, including six unique series, the civil war's 150th anniversary, visiting battle fields and key events, american
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artifacts, touring museums and historic sites to discover what artifacts reveal about america's past history bookshelf with the best known american hi ri writers, the presidency looking at the policies and legacies of our nation's commanders if in chief, lectures in history with top college professors delving into america's past and our new series, real america featuring archival government and educational films from the 1930s through the '70s. c-span 3 created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or sat lied provider. watch us in hd likes us on facebook and follow us on twitter. next a discussion about how to create opportunities for communities with unemployment, foreclosures and racial divides. then the senate confirmation hearing for the nominee to be the next transportation security administrator. after that a house hearing on the response to the earthquakes in nepal.
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the brooksings institution held a forum on the challenges in creating opportunities in communities experiencing poverty, unemployment foreclosures and racial divides. what can be done to help families in distressed communities and the lessons learned since the redevelopment of areas like the baltimore sand town neighborhood. speakers include michael smith the special assistant to the president and director of the white house initiative my brother's keeper which aims to help minority boys and young men. this is just under two hours. good morning to all of you here today and to those of you joining via our live webcast.
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on behalf of the brooksings metropolitan policy program i want to welcome you to our baltimore and beyond panel discussion. i'm jennifer vai a fellow with the metro program and i was asked or at least i think i was asked to open our session today for two reasons, first, because of my almost 14 years here at brooksings i have focused my research and policy development efforts on how cities and metro areas particularly older industrial areas in the northeast and midwest can revitalize their neighborhoods and grow their regional economies. that work includes research that i did several years ago the focused on greater baltimore's economy and strategies for better connecting low income residents to quality jobs. the second reason i was asked to provide opening comments is because i live in baltimore. these two things combined give me both a professional and personal perspective on the events that occurred in baltimore over the past several weeks. in my professional capacity at brooksings i together with several of my colleagues, have
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been trying to understand the circumstances and the conditions in which the protests and riots took place and put them in a broader regional and national context. it is by now well known that the sand town winchester neighborhood where freddie gray lived suffers from trends joblessness, poverty and the full range of social challenges that accompany approximate economic disparate and distress. over half of the working age population in this community is either not in the labor force or is unemployed and looking for work. nearly half of the children are impoverished and over a third of its homes are vacant and a bapd ond. such distress isn't limited to sand town winchester overall one if five people in baltimore lives in a neighborhood of extreme poverty most of which are concentrated east and west of the downtown areas. these poor areas are largely african-american and highly segregated by race and income. there is another less well known story that we've been telling in blog posts and media interviews
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that is that sand town and other baltimore neighbors are located in what by maybe measures is a thriving metropolitan area. income and educational attainment levels are high in the region while poverty rates are relatively low. it has a strong black middle class and it's a region that's rich in a ses including a robust network of colleges and universities, several world class opt systems, close proximity to the nation's capital and unique vibrant urban communities where people and firms want to locate. this story, too, must be understood for it's by building on lease strengths that the region can continue to grow more and better jobs and yet it's not enough. to truly raise more residents out of poverty and into the middle class neighborhoods like sand town and the people living in them must be far better connected to those opportunities. and this is the issue that brings us here today. but while baltimore will be a platform for our discussion we
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will look beyond baltimore to focus on what we've learned from years of collective effort to improve you are back and suburban communities around the country. this broader scope is important because the fact is while baltimore has most recently been in the spotlight it's challenges are far from unique. it's degree of income inequality is actually similar to many other big cities and it's level of concentrated poverty people as that poverty may be is actually about average among its peers. unfortunately not only is neighborhood distress a widespread cal length in our cities and increasingly suburbs around the country, if we look back over the past 45 years we realize that we actually haven't made much systemic progress in alleviating it. according to joe court right and his colleagues at the city observatory since 1970 the number of high poverty neighborhoods if in the united states has tripled and the number of people living in them has doubled.
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there tends to be to be a lot of focus on gent fiction when as their research those very few of the munts that were poor in 1970 have seen their poverty rates fall to below the national average. these fact may make us want to throw in the towel thinking that the problems are much too big and far too complex for us to address, that no amount of effort or resources will really help us move the dial. but as we'll hear from our really stellar group of panelists today we have, in fact, learn a great deal about what it takes to bring people and neighborhoods out of poverty. from their decades of collective work and that of many many others, we have a chance to assess what has succeeded and what hasn't and that apply those lessons to their efforts moving forward. as our moderator for the panel, amiy lou will help us devil into these questions, daem together with bruce cats is the crow director and founder of the metropolitan policy program and brings over 20 years of her own
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research and policy work on cities and metro areas to this discussion. amy will introduce each of our panel lists and then give brief context setting remarks before we get g. he get into what i anticipate will be ain't incredibly dynamic conversation that draws from the deep experience and expertise from our panelists. we will then have time for questions from you and from our live -- from our web audience which by the way if you're joining us by webcast you can ask those questions via the #beyond baltimore. unfortunately i will take this community toount to mention that we will not have the hear to hear from daurn walker today. he was originally on our program but was called away on urgent foundation business oupt ut country but i foe that he was very much regrets not being able to join this conversation. so i said earlier that the second reason i was asked to provide some opening remarks today is that i live in baltimore, a city that i didn't grow up in but where i happily made a home with my family.
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so i will take this this as some license to add my -- to my remarks a bit to end my remashs on a bit more of a personal note. since freddie gray's death and all that's followed i think many of us, maybe all of us in baltimore have a collective purveyervasive ache. for me this feeling comes from two sources, first the events in baltimore over the past several weeks have simply been heart breaking heart breaking because freddie gray shouldn't have died the way he did, heart breaking because businesses were destroyed and people were hurt and heart breaking because the young people taking part in the destruction and violence didn't see another better outlet for their frustration at the systems that they feel have shut them out and have left them behind. butt second source of that ache comes from knowing that because of these events this diverse and special city that has so much to offer and that has experienced so much progress has been portrayed to the world over and over again almost solely through the lens of its deep e.
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challenges. for those of us who care deeply about the city who root for the city this is really, really tough to see. all the positive statistics i cited are what they are i would be lying if i said i didn't feel some satisfaction in having a platform from which to tell them. as a way of letting people know there is so much more to baltimore than what they've been told and what they think that they know. and yet it's these two realities together that bring the most discomfort, that the economic hardship that underpins what occurred in baltimore can exist alongside progress and prosperity. not just in baltimore, but in communities throughout this nation that's supposed to be the rand of opportunity. it's not that we haven't understood this to be true for a very very long time, but it can be easy for many of us to forget the real impacts until you see testimony firsthand in your own community and you're forced to question whether or not they will catalyze change for the better or whether things will only get worse. i have to believe the former.
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baltimore was an early pioneer in applying new approaches to neighborhood revitalization, some of which have worked and some of which haven't. since then the practice of joining people and place based strategies has evolved and developed a body of evidence-based programs that can make and that are making a profound difference in the lives of families and communities. today we have an opportunity to have an honest conversation about these efforts to ask important questions and to help lay the groundwork for a new path forward. thank you. [ applause ]
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while everyone is getting miked up i wanted to say good morning. thank you for joining us today here and on the webcast. i want to thank my colleague jennifer for just a very heart felt opening to this day. it is a stark reminder about why we are talking about these top picks. i did have -- listening to jennifer i had a groundhog day moment which was, you know, after hurricane katrina which i was very actively involved in there was a design for a renewed conversation about urban policy and poverty. i think part of our motivation for having this conversation today was to make sure that even as the news cycle has resided a bit that we continue to he can plor what needs to be done to ensure that we don't find ourselves in this position again. there is no doubt there is now a
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national discussion about poverty going on in the country right now that we hope gets sustained. in fact, president obama was served -- took part in a panel discussion last week in georgetown among faith-based leaders to talk about how we tackle the challenges of poverty and he it did that alongside with robert putnam who has written a book about the role of parenting and families in that. i want to stress just to reiterate some of the themes that jennifer talked about, today's discussion is focused specifically on the role of place in that opportunity story. because there's so much concern about the packet that your zip code or the neighborhood you live in has such a major predictor on a person's life outcomes. and so when we talk about entrenched poverty entrenched poverty as you heard from jennifer is highly concentrated in a neighborhood, whether it's in an urban core or increasingly
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in the suburbs. so as jennifer said i think at times when i -- when we read the media stories or we see the images of the frustration on the streets, there is a sense that a lot of our policies and our programs had failed our communities. and so i think what we want to do is really focus on the fact that there has been a lot of well-meaning efforts, org dbrags organizations working in these communities often for decades trying to really reverse a lot of trends that we've seen. and the field has evolved. you know, since those severity efforts to revitalize sandtown west chester whether it's hope 6 low income housed doechls, the place based investments with people based investment, social services, job training housing mobility and choice there are now new forms of finance and there's more efforts to connect
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low income neighborhoods to the wider regional economy whether it's their skills, land use or transportation planning. this morning we are going to try to touch on all of those issues and we're going to explore what are those effort that are underway today to unlock opportunity in these high poverty neighborhoods. we're going to discuss what we have learned over the years, what has worked and what has not and what we've been trying to build on. and we are going tos also say we understand that the work is not finished. we have to acknowledge where duds the field have to go so we can continue to push the envelope on the policies and strategies that are needed to make sure we improve the life chances for low income families and their children. so for this conversation today we wanted to bring leaders together and organizations who have actually been on the front lines of working on these issues. often for decades.
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now, to convert neighbors of poverty to neighborhoods of opportunity takes a village and so today we kind of brought you a little mini village. and so i know this seems really simplistic, but we have on our panel today a community developer, an anchor partner, an investment banker, a resident and next generation leader and a fill anti-miss and policymaker and each one of them have an important role to play in this complex issue about neighborhood opportunity so let me introduce each one. so to my left is bart harvey he is the former chair and ceo of enterprise community partners. he joined enterprise in 1984 shortly after james rouse started and formed the enterprise foundation and bart himself ran the foundation from 1993 to 2008. he is an expert on affordable housing, he is an expert on
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community development. he was with list, help formed with the foundations and the financial institutions trying to scale cdc's and community development capacity around the country. and like jennifer bart lives in baltimore and has been an integral part of the efforts in sandtown winchester where we're going to hear about in a moment. next to him is joe we will miranda the director of leadership development for youth build, usa. youth build was started by dorothy stone man as a wee little housing rehab program in harlem back this in the late 1970s and today it is a program that has scaled. it is now in 100 programs across ten countries helping disconnected youth become leaders in rebuilding their own communities. and joel himself is one of those leaders. he is not only a graduate of youth build but he is now a
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director in the organization and on top of that he's also involved with my brother's keeper. next to him is donald hinkel brown who is the president and ceo of the reinvestment fund. they are expert approximate in financing neighborhood revitalization, providing market information, programs that increase the wealth and assets of people and communities. you're going to hear a lot about the neighborhoods they are involved in. >> to his left is dare rick douglas, he is going to wear two hats for us today, currently he is the vice president for civic engagement at the university of chicago, he is working on a lot of the partnerships around south side -- the south side chicago neighborhoods, the city and the region around urban mic development, but the other hat he wore and how i got to know dare rick is that he was special assistant to obama in the first administration helping to lead the domestic policy council and the white house work on urban
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policy and metropolitan policy. >> and then not least is michael smith who is the fills miss and policymaker i talked about. he is rently the special assistant to the president and helps run my brother's keepers and before that he oversaw the social invasion fund and a couple invasion initiatives at the case foundation. so i think we are going to have a really dynamic discussion. >> just as a reminder we're going to go and have this conversation for about 45 minutes or so, do think about your questions and we're going to open it up for q and a and, again, folks on the webcast our welcome to join in this discussion. so let me start with bart. and, bart, went to sandtown winchester the day after the riots to help contribute to the cleanup. why don't you start first from that personal story about what you saw and what you experienced.
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>> thank you, amy. like jennifer, being a baltimore yan, being raised there and coming back and settling there i was heartbroken. when you saw that cvs on the loop, that kept bushing and burning and burning, i wondered what -- what had really happened and what had happened in sandtown. the next day i went to both look for myself and to help clean up and it was -- it was -- it was a very different scene than you might have expected. there were about 200 people that were out, out of the community and some of the churches and they were -- they were cleaning up and on north and pennsylvania avenue where the cvs was and also in a couple of other areas for small stores that had been impacted. i went and toured all of the investment that enterprise had made 524 homes that we had
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directly contributed to and about 250 through sandtown habitat for humanity and they looked better than they looked 20 years ago when we built them. the homeowners were there, they were in great shape, there was no property damage in any of them. there was a beating heart at the center of sandtown winchester. so that was very positive andrea shurg. and then i attended yesterday a one baltimore meeting of fill anti-pea and state and city to see how does baltimore react to this. basically they surveyed everything that had been touched by the riots and the looting and there were 350 different businesses, a half of them were broken window or something on the exterior.
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the serious ones you saw on that clips over and over again, a very large shoe store, the cvs, one senior center that burnt to the ground if you take those 350 and look at the cost that is estimated on it, it's about $12.5 million from just initial preliminary estimates, a third of them have full insurance a third of hem have partial and a third have none and the city and philanthropists and others banks and community financial institutions are getting together a pool to try and put everybody back into business. is so it's a lot more hopeful situation than you might see from what you watch. and i'm sure jennifer had the same thing, that i got 67 e-mails saying are you okay?
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baltimore is burning. you know, and so put it in perspective. it's still is a huge issue and we should get into those issues. >> so let me just follow up with bart about what were the original plans or what was the effort that was made by enterprise habitat for humanity all your partners in sandtown? and what's your reaction to the -- striems criticism or assumption that the $130 million spent in sandtown westchester didn't work? >> and i will say at the outset that this was jim rouse's view, which i think is the right view of a neighborhood transformation, it's what real community development is. it's saying what would happen if not only the housing but the schools and the employment and the healthcare and all these
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systems worked to really help people become productive -- more productive and really integrate into part of the system so there's a path upwards for either them or their kids going forward. and we did undertake a major effort around that and we learned a lot and part of it was successful and part of it was not successful. and if you -- i was interested in fox news that said $130 million wasted in sandtown winchester. well, i went back, if you just take in the housing and infrastructure was a major part of that expenditure there was other expenditures, but that have the major part and the $130 million is a mix of public and private financing, that was all added together out of an able report. if you took just what we know
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about ours, which is chicky grace and enterprise homes of the 524 units cost $58 million and it's all there and it's all owned by people that are working and a significant portion of that's being paid back to the state in mortgages over time. so -- and then if you look at the amount that was spent with habitat for humanity that's being paid back back into habitat that goes into other houses along the way. so that's all there. now, let me just do one thing if i may on this. not to avoid your question but just put it into context. if you took 524 people and put them into starter houses in the county and in some of the wealthier metro areas at a $350,000 home over the same period with the same interest rate you would spend more in the
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mortgage interest deduction on them. they have their houses the cost to the government would be more than it is in sandtown winchester if you do the math over the same period of time. so you have these houses almost 700 if you count ours and habitat's together that are there, are effective, they are a heartbeat. what didn't happen? the connection to jobs was incredibly difficult. there is a large number of ex offenders in the area they are an automatic exclude by law. we went round and round on that. that was a failure. economic development did not occur. so you can see where sandtown's investment begins and ends. where freddie gray lived was on the outskirts of the area that had been improved dramatically and had the strongest home ownership portion of all of
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sandtown winchester. and what didn't happen was there wasn't an economic driver that kept that redevelopment going past where the homeowners and were and past where the stability in sandtown winchester was. the employment didn't occur can. the healthcare systems we -- and i'm sorry i'm probably taking too long -- the healthcare systems we organized all of the various healthcare providers all the payment systems changed, very hard thing to do but we signed up every -- almost every kid this sandtown for the chips program, et cetera so there is more healthcare available than when we started. the schools, we took on two public had schools under an agreement and combined them into one from k through 6 to k through 8 and it went from one of the worst schools into the top half by all statistical
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person urs along the way. so that improvement in still there. more needs to be done. so there are positives and negatives to this whole situation. most of that investment is still there, it's in -- and it's amazing that it's in better shape than it was when it was first done. >> so is i think that positive progress, the one outstanding issue was jobs. >> jobs and development economic development. >> and which takes us really naturally to joe we will and joelle and i talked a bit before this about how -- what we see is that despite some of this positive progress a lot of young people still very frustrated and so youth build works directly with those young people and it's, by the way, it is not lost on me that we are having this conversation at an institution
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that is like the symbol of privilege. so i asked joelle to just get us out of our ivory tower and really make everyone in this room really uncomfortable. and tell a story about how youth build really works with kids who feel left out and how you get to a place of promise. >> thank you amy. so youth build just to give you some background on youth build, youth build is in its 36th year as a program, it started in 1978 in east harlem, became a national -- federally funded program in 1993 under the department of housing an urban development and is a faed real funded program under the department of labor. as far as the numbers go we went from this one tiny program in harlem to 268 programs nationwide which sounds great
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right, but there are over 2000 communities have applied to have a youth build program in their communities and only threes 268 are able to operate because of lack of funding. here are the needs if in those communities, the young people who come to our programs they come to our programs, we don't have to do very much advertising, word-of-mouth gets them in. they have a brother, a sister, an uncle, a if a err who graduated from youth build and talks about this as a unique experience that helped them tap into their potential it. they're coming to us from fragmented homes some of our young people were or are currently gang members single parents, struggling with substance abuse, homelessness. i mean they're really feeling the sing of poverty every day and they're feeling of sting of generations of poverty. so they're coming to our programs sort of saying i need something to change. they're survivors.
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when -- in the youth build program they're engaged by a loving and supportive community that believes in their innate and abundant potential and we provide economic enrichment, career redness skills, life skills development, leadership development, the opportunity to engage if meaningful service and we tap into that desire right, to want to change their communities. the story isn't all linear. i will give you an example. myself. i dropped out of high school when i was 17 and i literally walked out in front of high school officials and i remember at the moment feeling like i didn't want to go back but wondering why no one was coming after me. wondering why no one was telling me to turn around. at the age of 17 when that happened and you feel disconnected from the rest of the world and see that some of the people who are supposed to be responsible for your education, for developing you aren't doing that and don't
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bother to say, hey, wait. you believe that the world doesn't care. so enema of our young people who come to the program in addition to the many stings of poverty that they're suffering they're coming angry because they feel like they've been disappointed. sort of jet a sond out of society. had he come to the program we believe in them. they nurture them. we provide a place for them to heal, to develop real world skills, to tap into what i call, you knew -- i compare this to the laws of energy which is that their ability is neither created more destroyed but transformed from one form to another and we take these amazing skills and talents that they bring and within the walls of our program we are that reactor and we tap into the leadership that they already have and we help them come out and find a sense of self efficacy, make better decisions about their lives. they're able to succeed if career and post secondary education. we provide this ongoing love and support. we have this motto this mantra amongst graduates that says once
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if youthful always in youth build. so we're a family. i have 140,000 brothers and sisters nationwide who have graduated from youth build programs over the years. these 140,000 brothers and sisters have engaged in the building of 28000 units of affordable housing. so not only are they building themselves, they are building their community. those two things go hand in hand. so we take the young mother who is coming out of an abusive relationship and she comes to us and we provide the healing we provide the real world skills. the young man who is suffering because he has been the victim of poverty but also has also been the aggressor of the many things that come with poverty violence on others, violence on a partner violent on himself. and so is you knew, we work with a group of young people that to many in society are not that attractive. i wassing having a conversation earlier with you, bart, about
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you know there are some programs that have scaled really quickly but they're working with the folk who are a little more attractive. folks from more affluent communities, college graduates they're easier to talk to, they're easier to deal with, they're not going to blow up in am your face-to-face the minute you confront them with some of the problems they're facing. but these are young people that need us. we really are living in two americas. one that -- one that looks pretty and is pretty to talk about because we're doing something about the problems that kpi in that america and one that we're not really dealing with and one that we know is there because we saw the anger come out right, in baltimore. and, you know i think back, a colleague of mine pointed me to an interview on one of the news stations and i can't remember which one it is at the moment but a young man, the reporter turned to the young man and the young man said, we are hurting. we are hurting. we are not being listened to. and at that moment the reporter turned away because he wanted to focus on the riots.
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so that is who we are working with. we are working with young people who are hurting and our goal is not only to them them heal but to become productive responsible citizens who are not just living in their communities and not just part of their families but building their families, building their communities, they're becoming leaders. what i mentioned earlier that's who our young people were, today they are community leaders they are police liaisons, they are working to go into the prison system and work with young people before -- before they're released to give them some hope to let them know once they get on the other side there are opportunities for them. that was long, i'm sorry. >> no. no. i don't want to ever cut you off. tell us about youth build's experience if ferguson because i think you do have a chapter there or working in st. louis and your peer yen in baltimore, too. >> so youth build has a chapt nr st. louis and soon after the events in ferguson we got a call from the director in st. louis and she said you know, we -- michael brown's uncle is
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actually a graduate of the st. louis program. he needed some help for funeral costs, clothing related to the funeral, we provided that. and the young people at the st. louis program and the staff at the st. louis program said we are close by we need to be doing something. they were going into the community, sort of just being there, being part of it and beginning conversations with officials approximate in the community. it's taken longer than anyone would have liked, but recently the mayor of ferguson actually gave youth build st. louis two plots why they can begin to build homes, affordable housing units. and the hope is that this grows so that the young people in ferguson are then able to build real community assets. and, you know where we've seen this work we've seen in the young people once they're building these community assets they remember that for a lifetime. they drive by that house, that building that they helped build and they say, i built that. and, therefore i am taking care of that. you cannot touch this.
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and so what we hope is that that -- that's where we get into ferguson and we think we're on our way there. >> you mentioned in the green room that for every student that come into youth build there are so many more. >> for every young person that make it into the youth build program we have at least five young people who can't because of lack of funding. so you know, we hope that the following year those young people come back. many of them do. there are some times when they don't. and we'll go out into the community and search for them, but we worry about where they ended up. so if they're not -- if we're not able to capture them when they're saying, hey, we want this, right, we're going to lose them. it's the responsibility of everyone, right, it's the responsibility of our government, our corporate partners of everyone in the community, it takes a village, right, and we've got to take a look at who is answering the call and most of them are. >> that's great. lots to cover, but don, why
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don't we go to you and talk about trf and trf is actually spent -- they work in a lot of communities, but they've been in baltimore for ten years. so deep long-term patient capital investment and partnerships in that community. talk about your work in baltimore and what -- how that's a reflection of your theory of change at tr if. >> sure. the reinvestment fund is both a cfi, financial institution that's a nonprofit but also we've founded a development company, very specifically for baltimore, but it is working across the mid-atlantic as well. then we also are a data and analytics company and that's part of both the development entity and our data business are really reveal our theory of change. we were invited to baltimore by build an if organization just after the dawson fire bombing, an event that today would spark
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a riot, but then it sparked a tremendous amount of despair. the neighborhood and all of it organized with build's assistant and they wanted something positive to follow that horrible heinous event and they invited us to come and help them develop a redevelopment strategy. >> can you tell the audience with oliver is where that is. >> oliver is in east baltimore it is where they film the wire. it is adjacent to the ebdi region around johns hopkins medical. it is between johns hopkins medical and amtrak station. and we work there near the station, station north through green mount down through johnson square and oliver. we have built about 230-some units across that region and we have reduced vacancy from over 40% to 8% thus far, we believe we will reach 5% vacancy in a
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couple more years with a bit more effort. we have increased median incomes within that region which was pretty consistently whom oj nous very low income population we've -- median income have raised 64% since we'ven investing there and performing in the city a series of neighborhood over time i believe baltimore has done four different iterations. they have a time series of the market traj ekt reese value trajectories of place and can then adjust their programs individual communities can adjust their strategies or make their case based on data for why they need resources and of what kind. the cities in this current environment of scarcity and ever diminishing resources need to be able to aim their resources. you know equity 20 years ago was provide every service everywhere and then you provide it to the next person in line. equity today in a sense of
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scarcity is you had better use your resources where they are most peck testify. one of our theories of change is around those data advised decision makesings for efficient use of resources and amplification of resources. we specifically picked oliver not just because of the fire bombing and the organizing effort, we originally told the folks we can't guarantee you that that's the neighborhood we would pick. we scanned the whole region and found that the combination of factors around there presented an actionable development that over a number of years with a specific amount of money we believe we could reactivate the marketplace. a build from strength strategy around community development and the reason why that is our strategy is we want the private marketplace to scissor with us around market activities. so when we started our work in east baltimore we represented 80% or 90% of building permits
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over $50,000. today we are a minority of the building permits over $50,000. when we started we were the majority of home sales over $150,000. today we are a minority of the home sales over $150,000. the private market is drafting on our wind and that is what makes it manageable in terms of public subsidy in today's environment of shrinking budgets and it allows you to then shift your focus to the next neighborhood while the existing neighborhood is still being drafted with market activity and you can build a crescendo. it is planned change and, you know, the last topic we need to cover given the context is gent fiction, but jen friday fiction is unmanaged change where the public sector is disengaged. what we're trying to do is manage a joint effort to building value and opportunity for existing residents and new residents in a way that's
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managed change and self sustaining then once we're able to move on to the next neighborhood. >> we're going to -- we promised to get beyond baltimore so the neck is chicago. i'm going to bring tark into the conversation. as you know university of chicago is on the south side of the city and since he has arrived at university of chicago in his role he has really reinvented the role of an anchor institution in sort of economic opportunity. so can you talk about that, particularly in the context of sort of distress and inequality because i think many of us who are observers of the news cycle know that the mayoral race in chicago was very much defined by the frustrations in some of these neighborhoods and the inequality in chicago. so talk about the conditions and your role. >> thanks, amy for inviting me, it's good to be here and see so many people i haven't seen in a long time.
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the issues that chicago faces are dis is similar to the issues in baltimore and many of the cities in the united states and around the world. you have this phenomenon in chicago where you have a very growing and thriving downtown area and then when you get out to the neighborhoods, particularly on the south and the west sides, you see dee population, dis investment, high unemployment. and in my estimation the main issue driving that is is that the neighborhoods are not connected at all to what's driving the economy. i think one of the big challenges that neighborhoods often face is this dis connection that needs to be spoken to. what you saw in the mayoral race was some of that peeling and some of that frustration. the mayor did a lot of positive things, but a lot of people still felt frustrated this he felt they weren't listened to they felt that things were not getting better.
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and so that was why it was such a contentious race and went to a runoff and all of that. what we have been doing at the university of chicago has been trying to reimagine what the role of an anchor institution is in the city and in the community. looking at it not just as the traditional anchor things that a lot of institutions do which are very important, like our buy local, hire local, toes sorts of things, but trying to really look at what are all the things that universities do and how can we leverage those things to have an impact in the community and the city? and so it's important to emphasize what are the things universities do. so we try to develop a civic engagement policy that doesn't have us trying to become the city, it doesn't have us trying to be a bank doesn't have us trying to be a foundation it's be a university, but there are a
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lot of things universities do that can be leveraged for impact. the anchor stuff is very clear the amount of -- you know the university of chicago is the largest employer on the south side, largest purchaser on the south side, largest developer on the south side. we run four charter schools, we have the largest medical provider on the south side. you can go down the list and so there's a lot of things and a lot of tools that we can use and have been using to try to reorient those to have an impact in the city, in the region, in the local community. but we also -- universities are also educators that's what they do, so we've been trying to develop initiatives to support and provide more access to the educational resources of the university and the city. things like college readiness, college access types of programs. we've been recently doing a lot more work around leadership development in the public sector, in the nonprofit sector. we created a new program to inc. u bait and accelerate nonprofits
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kind of at an organizational level which is another big issue. universities are also research discussion institutions that's the core mission. so we've been thinking about ways in which we could try to encourage and incentivize more of our faculty as they're doing their scholarship that's getting published in the best journals to do things that also can have an impact on policy evidence-based kinds of approaches and we've been seeing a lot more of that. i will give you an example in a second. and the last area we've been really focusing on is around invasion and entrepreneurship. a lot of chicagoans become high priority for the mayor and a lot of effort in the city around had a and universities are you know, with the research that goes on, the ideas they're a huge opportunity to create new companies, in you commercialized research, new technologies new products and so to correct those into the neighborhoods and the
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community and we recreated a new invasion centers the first one on the south side that ties kind of the neighborhood and the south side into the broader economy. of a couple of examples, if i could just highlight that are focused on one is this initiative called case chicago anchors for a strong economy, where we at the university brought it to the world business chicago, which is an organization in the city that leads a lot of its economic development, business attraction types of initiatives and the polk brothers foundation was an instrumental partner. the idea was to leverage the procurement power not just of one anchor but of multiple anchors. and also anchors in different sectors. so it's -- a lot of times you will see educational institutions or medical institutions band together, but here we have the major universities, the major medical centers, the city is a partner as well as city agencies like
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cha and cta, the county is a partner, we have the private sector, banks, health providers and energy company, we have the -- all the largest museums in the city that are part of this consortium and the idea -- the motivation is really to think about ways in which these anchors can come together to pull their resources to connect the neighborhoods that are most in need on the south and west sides to the economy. so a big -- one big pillar of the work is around our purchasing and so we do both capacity building for businesses, which is a big issue, to how they can grow their businesses and get contracts with these institutions, we try to do -- work together to do big plays where we can go to one of our joint vendors and say we'd like you to set up an praying on the south side and we will give you a long-term contract and it creates jobs we also are coming together to borrow from each other's networks. so one of the big challenges we might have from local suppliers,
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this vendor doesn't know who we work with and so it helps in that regard. we're going to be building out a work force development pillar as well. another example of something that i think is relevant to the conversation today is this new initiative at the university now it's called the urban labs which is a project that is focused op doing very rigorous evidence-based research to inform policy. it's building on the success that we had with the crime lab and which you know very well was -- studied this program becoming a man which got into issues of youth violence, tested a program that showed how being in the program reduced youth violent arrests by 44% and that program then got scaled by the mayor to 2000 young men the president met with those young men and then went back and that helped to spawn the my brother's keeper initiative. creating lab in crime there's one in education, there's one in poverty, there's one in energy
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and the environment and there's one in health. they will do random miezed control trials studying these programs and work with cities to help scale them up. so it's a way in which we leverage what we do. those are just a couple of the ways, but there's a lot that i think anchors trying to do to be catalyst for change. >> michael, it's a lot of interest from probably everyone in this room and around the country, what the administration is going to do in this moment so we'll touch on that. let's start first about my brother's keeper. it's a little over a year in implementation. you really received a lot of local commitments to action. explain to people in the room who may not be familiar with it what's the approach for my brother's keeper, what's the
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result now a year in. >> good morning. my brother's keeper is really what the heart of the obama administration is, which is making sure we're expanding opportunity for all americans. not only restoring economic prosperity. that's what my brother's keeper is all about. you know derek talked about the president meeting with these young men and i think that was an impetus after the death of trayvon martin i think many of you may remember the president surprising the press briefing corps and sharing his raw emotions and trying to explain some of the anger and angst the americans are feeling about a life tragically lost. there has to be something we can do about it, i don't have a big plan up my sleeve but i'm going to put my teams together and see what happens. and six months after the president going to the press corps, my brother's keeper was launched. it's about addressing these gaps that boys of color face and
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making sure all young people reach their potential. you look at the data latino tribal, certain asian-american and pacific islander populations, the data is staggering, starting at making sure they're in kindergarten ready to learn. reading at grade level, where they're trailing behind their piers and it's an important indicator. the high school graduation rate we were just applauding that america, we're now at over 80% graduation rate, you look at black and latino and tribal boys, you're still at about 50%. we had a group of folks from rochester that were in -- meeting with us recently. just about three years ago their graduation was was 9%. you look at shopping homicide, where black boys, for instance are 6% of the population, but more than half of the nation's murder victims. unemployment rates you realize we need to pause and say what's
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going on here. the president did three things. he created the my brother's keeper's task force, a task force made up of almost every single cabinet member. he gave them 90 days to come back with a strategy on a series of recommendations and they did just that. we're focused on a college career strategy. young people zero to 24. and six key milestones in their lives, where if we can make a difference there, it can have long term transformation. you've seen in the past year, all sorts of new and expanded grant programs new public private partnerships anything from department of labor and 100 million dollar apprenticeship program, which is making sure we're looking at this population. the corporation for opportunity americorps or even guidance where i think many of you know the statistics that we see, kids of color being suspended at
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extraordinarily high rates as early as prek, sometimes involving the law enforcement system. and when you used to kind of get put in the corner for that kind of thing it's exciting to see what's happening on the policy side. on the play side, where my heart is, the president launched something called my brother's keeper community challenge, and it was really a way to say hey, local communities, we know that real progress begins and ends with you, and this can't be something that we're talking about from the grassroots, many of you have been working on this anyway, we now have 227 mayors tribal leaders and county executives that have accepted the president's my brother's keeper kmoont challenge. they're aligning with our strategy, and they've taken the president to town to say, we're going to pick the areas we're going to focus on. we're going to convene local stakeholders to own the challenges and opportunities in our community. we're going to do an exhaustive policy stance to see what works and what doesn't work. we're going to release a local
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action plan to tell the community how we're going to address these persistent opportunity gaps. we're kind of toward the beginning of that 180 day period, philadelphia was the first city to release their local action plan, followed by indianapolis, boston. several others, but philadelphia just to give you an example. they're doing some really interesting things they have a bold goal to reduce juvenile arrests by 50%. that's what you're seeing in many of these plans. they're going to do that through a diversion program. they have a program where they're trying to bring in literacy specialists to work with the hardest, the highest need kids. in indianapolis, they're expanding the police athletic league and they're also doing bias training for all of their police officers. and boston they've expanded their street worker program, getting more youth workers on the streets to work with young people that may be at risk for
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crime and violence. they've expanded the mayor's mentoring position where he's challenging the city to get involved. what's exciting is, you're seeing people be very serious about this but also blang for the long term to hopefully prevent not only address what's happening now, but prevent challenges in the future. and real serious bold goals. lastly i'll say the president really called the private sector to action, what we've seen since the launch of my brother's keeper is more than $500 million, and serious private sector commitments most recently just a couple weeks, we were with the president at the bronx where something was launched called the my brother's keeper alliance. the former ceo is leading us, with an all star corporate board. they launch about 80 to $100 million in commitments to really get behind these communities, so that these plans can actually be implemented. you name it jpmorgan chase,
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ubs. many many corporations who have gotten behind this work, there's some good momentum here, and the next stage is making sure that we implement and are really shining a spotlight on what's working and where we're going to have impact. >> to build off that, i want to move to the next set of topics. i want to make sure we open up to questions in about 10 minutes. we're going to do one last round of questions here, start thinking about what you want to ask, and i want to invite those from the web cast to start sending your questions to the #. when we think about there's a lot of excitement and momentum here, and a lot of energy by the leaders on this panel. we know the work is unfinished we know this is a long game. so as we think about what's next for the field, we have to build on what we've learned. i think there has been a lot of learning. now, whether there's a lot of institutional memory in that it's not clear, we want to make sure we don't replicate mistakes. i'd say -- i want the three organizations that have been in
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existence for 20 years to sort of tell us what you've learned that we really need to -- we need to build on. as we go forward. i think for derek, i think it would be great to hear from your administration hat and now being on the ground what you think scaling at the national level looks like given the reality on the ground. and i think michael your work on social innovation on evidence -- impact investing leveraging to sustain and scale proven programs i think that's where the dialogue is. what you're learning from that, that we need to continue to hold on to. let's just run through real quick. >> i think a lot's been learned since the neighborhood transformation. and part of it connects to what's being done in east baltimore as well and the oliver neighborhood.
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the oliver neighborhood can succeed because just south of it you had john's hopkins hospital and -- which is the largest employer. and in a lot of the old industrial cities, you had eds and meds, and they are now the major employers. and have you to connect to the investment and employments that are going into those eds and meds. and east baltimore development initiative, which is where they were originally cited to be. but because of politics, it was elsewhere. and we worked with bill just as you're working with build and prf, which is community -- really basic organization out of the community that holds politicians accountable. but what's happening for ebdi which is tough and gone through some cycles, because it's absolutely right. the involvement of john's
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hopkins, the involvement of the president of john's hopkins, this is really to derek. and the buying power and everything that derek said is in effect as well as a new school that hopkins is knee deep. in essence the economic development and the employment has to follow and has to be connected. and it's still really hard and difficult, you go through cycles and your investment's got to be patient for the longer term. and enterprises doing similar kinds of efforts to that in fact in new orleans around laffit, with the charter school and with employment et cetera. and in other places that it's operating. the final thing i'll say is you need patient long term capital. and calvert social investment foundation is trying to tap this longer term capital that can come in and

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